Sunday 20 August 2017

Irish aquarium welcomes adorable new arrivals: 'Come and see our baby otters before they see you!'

The baby otters were born at Dingle Oceanworld at the beginning of April
The baby otters were born at Dingle Oceanworld at the beginning of April

Kathy Armstrong

Meet the adorable latest additions at one of Ireland's leading aquariums.

Dingle Oceanworld in Co Kerry welcomed five baby otter pups at the start of April and posted the first picture of them on Facebook today.

The litter of Asian Short Claw pups are new arrivals for mum and dad Wade and Mekong, who only moved from the Ellesmere Port Aquarium and Chessington Zoo in the UK to Dingle last year.

The cute brood also includes siblings Harry and Moana.

Dingle Oceanworld shared the happy news and gave an insight into what we can expect for the first few weeks of the otters' lives.

A spokesperson said: "Come and see our baby otters before they see you!

"The pups are very dependent on Mum and Dad and they will have only fully opened their eyes by about 40 days old!

"It is at this age that they will start moving around. However, it may take them as long as three months to start swimming as they are actually born scared of the water!"

The aquarium team also revealed on the website that Asian small-clawed otters are listed as a vulnerable species and many otter species are endangered.

They said: "The Asian Short Claw Otter worldwide population is in as much trouble as the red panda.

"Asian small-clawed otters are threatened by rapid habitat destruction and pollution.

"They also may be sold as pets in some countries, considered pests by rice farmers, trained by fishermen to drive fish into nets, or hunted for their pelts, meat and organs for medicine."

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